Thursday, November 20, 2008

Land grab...

Interesting...even more so in light the "Obama doctrine" that I have written about. That Madagascar (off the coast of mainland Africa) was the choice here by S. Korean operators is also important.

Land leased to secure crops for South Korea
By Javier Blas in London
Published: November 18 2008 18:45 | Last updated: November 18 2008 18:45
Daewoo Logistics of South Korea has secured farmland in Madagascar to grow food crops for Seoul, in a deal that diplomats and consultants said was the largest of its kind.

The company said it had leased 1.3m hectares of farmland – about half the size of Belgium – from Madagascar’s government for 99 years. It plans to ship the maize and palm oil harvests back to South Korea. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The pursuit of foreign farm investments is a clear sign of how countries are seeking food security following this year’s crisis – which saw record prices for commodities such as wheat and rice and food riots in countries from Egypt to Haiti.

Prices for agricultural commodities have tumbled by about half from such levels but countries remain concerned about long-term supplies.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation warned this year that the race by some countries to secure farmland overseas risked creating a “neo-colonial” system. Those fears could be increased by the fact that Daewoo’s farm in Madagascar represents about half the African country’s arable land, according to estimates by the US government.

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